Wednesday, March 26, 2008


My turn. My turn. My turn. IT'S MY TURN. This is Max, over. Anybody out there? I just turned 11 months old so I may not be too eloquent. That's my very handsome portrait over there in the right side margin. I'm the distinguished looking black & white dog, not the lazy looking one lying down. I'm a Newfoundland puppy, well more specifically, I'm a Landseer puppy. Here in America us Landseers are part of the Newfoundland Dog breed, but across the pond (the big Atlantic pond) we are our own breed. So it all depends on where you are looking at us from. But I digress. For some reason known only to her (certainly not to dad), mom wanted to get a Newfoundland water dog once they (mom & dad) moved down by Lake Anna, here in ole Virginia. They already had a boring brood of Golden Retrievers but the Goldens didn't provide the degree of excitement and surprises that us bigger canines are capable of providing. So late last spring mom started searching on the Internet for a Newfoundland breeder in the central Virginia area (How am I doing?). She came across Brookstone Newfoundlands in Chesterfield, VA. I was born in April 2007. My dad is Falco, a rather striking young stud whom I obviously take after, and my mom is Shiloh; you can see them there on the website. Ah, how do I insert one of my baby puppy pictures (as opposed to my big puppy picture)? Oh yeah, I remember. This is me when I was little. Wasn't I a cute little guy? Kinda look like a teeny weeny Holstein; moooooooooooo. My dog mom, Shiloh, had 7 of us on April 21, 2007; 1 Landseer Female, 2 Landseer Males, 2 Black Females & 2 Black Males. Looking over the family album, I believe that I was the cutest, most handsome and most promising of the brood. When I was about 2 months old, mom and dad came down to Chesterfield to pick me out. Well they didn't know that they were gonna pick me, but since dad wanted a Landseer, I had at least a 33.3% chance and since mom wanted a yucky boy dog my probability of being chosen actually rose and stabilized at 50%. I had to strut my stuff to impress mom and make sure that she would choose me to take home with her. That's me strutting my stuff for mom in the picture right over there <--. I must've strutted pretty awesomely 'cause I got picked. I wasn't ready to actually leave Brookstone yet so mom & dad had to wait another couple of weeks before I was old enough to strike out on my own, with their help, to face the challenges of the world.

Eventually they couldn't put it off any longer and they actually had to come down and get me. They showed up in a nice big, gas guzzling SUV that was very roomy and comfortable for someone of my status and stature. They brought along one of their Golden Retrievers, Jubal, to keep me company as if I needed a wet nurse. (Well he couldn't have really been a wet nurse since he was a boy dog and probably dry instead of wet.) Jubal turned out to be a sociable sort and we got along well for the hour ride home. Jubal sure likes to lie down a lot and make funny breathing noises; kinda like a chain saw followed by a wheeze, over & over. He keeps his eyes closed a lot. He doesn't move around a lot either. Big Jubes --- well, he was Big when I was little -- is a really laid back dude (most of the time). At first I liked looking out the windows but I was still a little wobbly and I felt kinda yucky so I laid down by Jubal most of the way home. We eventually got to my new home. I could tell we were getting close 'cause Jubal sat up and was looking around. He said we were just about there.
After dad opened the back of the car he helped me down and then walked me over to the back gate and took me up to the deck; Jubal came along. Then each of the other dogs came out to meet me one at a time; first Chance, then JEB, then Abby, then Shelby, and then Jack. (I met Gordon later, he was blind and lived downstairs in the family room.) We all checked each other out and sniffed butts (like people shake hands).

Hello, my name is Max. -- Hi Dad! Say "cheese." -- Me and Abby.

I really like living here. We can go swimming in the lake, chase squirrels, and bark at birds. We have 4 neighbor dogs that also have a fenced yard. They're little guys (Pomer somethings) , so we like to call them "The FooFoos." They come down by our fence and we all bark and sing together. The whole neighborhood gets to hear us so it must be really entertaining when we sing. All together now: AAHHHHROOOOOOOOOOOOO, AAAAHHHHROOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Woof, bow wow.
It was fun growing up with all the retrievers. They taught me to dig holes, catch balls, chase after balls, and bring back balls (duh, retrievers!). I learned to fend for myself in disagreements. I used to loose a lot of arguments but now I'm bigger than everyone else, so now I win all the time.
Chance and Abby were my best friends. I played with Abby and Chance taught me a lot. Chance got sick and dad to take him to see Doc and he had to have an operation. After that he moved inside with mom and dad. He didn't come outside as much but I could tell that he was having fun 'cause he went everywhere with dad. Then one day he got really sick and dad brought us in one at a time to be with Chance. Then mom and dad took Chance for a ride in the RESQWGN bronco. Chance must have gone away. He wasn't with mom and dad when they came back and they were sad that Chance was gone. Dad dug a big hole in the back of the garage and buried a green bag; it must have been hard because he kept stopping and crying about it. Dad still goes back there and talks to the ground.
A while after that mom and dad went away in the suburban. They were gone a long time, when they came back they had Homer with them. Homer had been in a "shelter" but he wanted a forever home so he decided to live with us, so mom and dad had to go get him. I like Homer. He is a red Golden Retriever like Chance, and he seems to me to be a lot like Chance. Homer doesn't replace Chance, but he helps to fill the hole that Chance left empty when he went away.
The day, after Homer came to live with us, dad brought us in and brushed each one us, then we each got a bath and then we got brushed out again. We had to stay in our crates until that afternoon, we couldn't go out and play. Then all eight of us got in the suburban and went to get our Christmas pictures taken. Dad says that the trip was a real adventure. We went up to the Fredericksburg SPCA where the pictures were taken. I think that my picture came out best. I had fun exploring the photographer's trailer studio. The "Lil' Pals" people were really nice and they helped me look really good ( Later dad had all of our pictures put into a composite for our Christmas cards. I guess that the card was a big hit because I looked so handsome in it. I really stood out, probably because I'm the biggest dog in the picture.
One day when I was about 7 months old, mom got a phone call from Ms. Carol at Brookstone Newfoundlands where I was born. It seems that somebody had returned a Newfoundland puppy and they needed to find a new home for it. Mom said that if Carol couldn't find a home for the dog that it could come live here. After a week Carol called mom again and the next Sunday, mom and dad and me got in the suburban to go get the unwanted puppy. I let dad drive with mom riding shotgun; I rode in back looking out the windows. When we got to Chesterfield, Ms. Carol was all glad to see me again. She was very nice to me when I was little and I remembered her (as Horton says: "elephants never forget"). Mom and Ms. Carol went inside while I stayed outside with dad. Soon mom and Ms. Carol came back out and they had another dog with them. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was my sister Shiloh (named after our mother). She hadn't changed much. She had a lot more black dots on her (ticking) and she had put on a LOT of weight (a whole lot), but it was definitely Shiloh. I couldn't believe that my own sister was coming home to live with us, forever. Can it get any better than this? (Yeah, we could have steak for dinner; like that'll ever happen.) It's great having Shiloh to play with, not that Abby and the Goldens aren't fun, but it is nice to have somebody like me. I'm not the odd man out now, even though dad says I'm still odd.

<----Max & Shiloh ---->

Shiloh is just as odd if not more so. And she is even bigger than me, we'll she's taller, even though I think I weigh more than her. We have adjoining crates in the kennel and we play together in the paddock. We lie around and reminisce about our younger days at Brookstone.
One Saturday night dad let us all out at about 11:00PM to do our business. I don't really have any business so I just pee and poop and refill at the water bowl. When we go back inside, Abby and the Goldens all go upstairs to the MBR (?) and Shiloh and me go into the kennel. Dad puts us into our crates and gives us each a milkbone (supersize that will ya dad.) Dad then locks both the top and bottom latches on our crate. (He only locks the top latches on everyone else's crates when they're in the kennel.) Well, this particular night dad must've been very tired or in a hurry because he missed latching both of my crate locks. Oh he pushed the latch catches over alright, but they didn't go into the lock loops, they both went under the loops. It wasn't too long after he went upstairs that I noticed my crate door would open up when I pushed on it. We have a night light so it was easy to see my way around as I ventured out of my crate unsupervised. I kept very quiet so as not to disturb anyone upstairs in the MBR (?). I felt like a great explorer. I was like Christopher Columbus discovering the new world. So much to do; so little time to do it. Hey, here's a whole COSTCO package of shop towels. Let me just chew through the package. Wow, each of the twelve rolls is individually wrapped. These are really chewy. I wonder what's in the trash can? What's this thing? Ooops, didn't mean to knock over the stool. Eureka, an old chewie bag. UUUUMMM, that taste s good. Hey, what's this thing? Can I get that thing up there on the shelf? Gee, it's starting to get light outside. I can hear all the birds chirping. Is that the Foo Foos barking over in their yard? What's that noise? Yikes, the house door is opening; somethings coming. Oh, hi dad, it's only you. Are you OK? Why are you yelling, is something wrong?

Max: Hey Shi, why don't us dogs make good dancers?

Shiloh: I don't know Max, why don't us dogs make good dancers?

Max: Because we have two left feet!
Haa haa haa haa. Haa haa haa!

MAX Fans,
Please don't forget to complete my poll at the bottom of the postings.
- Your bestest buddy MAX

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